Wegener's Granulomatosis - Treatment

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What is the treatment for Wegener's granulomatosis?

Wegener's granulomatosis is a serious disease and without treatment can be fatal within months. Treatment is directed toward stopping the inflammation process by suppressing the immune system.

Medications used to treat Wegener's granulomatosis include high-dose cortisone (prednisone) and the immunosuppressive drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). Recent reports also suggest that trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) can also be helpful to prevent relapse of disease activity in patients with Wegener's granulomatosis.

Cytoxan that is taken by mouth with prednisone until the disease is in remission and then switched to methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) for two years and tapered off has been reported to be effective and less toxic than the traditional long-term Cytoxan treatment.

Methotrexate has recently been introduced as a drug for Cytoxan treatment failures. Moreover, it now appears that Cytoxan will not be necessary in order to maintain long-term remission and that doctors can convert to the less toxic methotrexate for maintenance. The reports also demonstrate that methotrexate can eventually be tapered off entirely after two years. Azathioprine (Imuran) has also been used as a maintenance medication after Cytoxan. Recently, intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG) has been shown to be helpful in treating relapses of Wegener's granulomatosis. Studies suggest that rituximab (Rituxan) may be helpful to maintain remission once the initial inflammatory disease has been controlled using medications mentioned above. These new regimens are welcome news for patients with Wegener's granulomatosis as medical researchers are searching for better treatments.

Return to Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA or Wegener's Granulomatosis)

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Comment from: escape1965, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

For Wegener's granulomatosis prednisone, Cytoxan, and mycophenolate were the treatment for the disease process and then many other medicines to care for the collateral damage, i.e., all body systems were affected.

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Comment from: SS, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 14

My family member was ill for over a month before she was diagnosed with Wegener's granulomatosis. They tried cyclophosphamide, (I think that's what it was) but she had a bad reaction, so they put her on rituximab. She has been doing well with preventative Rituxan treatments every 6 months. After all that I've read, I feel this may be the best treatment available for this illness. I hope this helps you. Best wishes to all of you.

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